WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- The University of Michigan men's basketball team suffered its fourth straight loss Sunday afternoon (Jan. 30), falling 84-55 to Purdue at Mackey Arena. The Wolverines (12-9, 3-4 Big Ten) fell victim to a 12-2 scoring run in the first half, which led to a 16-point halftime deficit that U-M was never able to climb out of. With the loss, Michigan falls below .500 in the Big Ten Conference for the first time this season.
Juniors Graham Brown (Mio, Mich./Mio-AuSable HS) and Chris Hunter (Gary, Ind./West Side HS) led Michigan in the losing effort, recording 11 points apiece. The Wolverine bench outscored Purdue's reserves 26-7, but the Boilermakers outscored U-M 28-9 from the free throw line and won the rebounding battle 36-24. Matt Kiefer led a quartet of Purdue double-digit scorers with a game-high 21 points.
The Wolverines held Purdue without a field goal for nearly three minutes to start the game, but the U-M offense could manage just one basket of its own in the first four minutes of action. A jumper by Kiefer at 17:16 gave the Boilermakers their first bucket and was the start of 7-0 run that put Purdue on top 8-2 less than four minutes into the contest.
It was a tightly contested affair over next nine minutes, with the Boilermakers sustaining a slim 25-21 lead with 7:42 left in the first half. A Brandon McKnight triple at 5:59 initiated a 12-2 Purdue run that extended the lead to 37-23 with 3:41 remaining until halftime. A Dion Harris (Detroit, Mich./Redford HS) layup would be Michigan's only field goal over a span of almost six minutes during the Boilermakers' offensive outburst.
A jumper by sophomore Courtney Sims (Roslindale, Mass./Noble & Greenough School) at 2:01 trimmed the lead down to 37-26, but David Teague scored the final five points of the half, including a long triple in the final seconds, allowing Purdue to take a 42-26 advantage into the locker room.
Michigan cut the Boilermaker lead down to as low as 14 points in the early stages of the second half before Purdue exploded for 11 straight points to increase its lead to 57-31 with 13:53 left in the game. A triple by Harris at 11:55 broke a six-minute U-M scoring drought and cut the lead down to 57-34, but McKnight responded with five unanswered points to push Purdue's lead back up to 28 points.
The deficit proved to be insurmountable for the Wolverines, as Purdue never let its lead dip below 24 points for the remainder of the contest.
The Wolverines will look to get back on track when they host Minnesota this Wednesday (Feb. 2) at Crisler Arena. Tipoff is scheduled for 8 p.m., and the game will be televised locally by ESPN-Plus.
Contact: Tom Wywrot (734) 763-4423
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